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City Councilor Lan Sena Hosting COVID-19 Virtual Town Hall Meetings in Vietnamese and Spanish Languages in Partnership with Community Organizations

Organizations include El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Dream Team, Asian Family Center, and the City of Albuquerque Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA)

April 23, 2020 

City Councilor Lan Sena and the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) invite community members to join Town Hall Meetings that feature Vietnamese and Spanish translation. Councilor Sena and OIRA are hosting these town halls with community organizations, including; El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, NM Dream Team, Asian Family Center, Consulado de México en Albuquerque, and others. The goal of these town halls is to get the latest COVID-19 related information to Albuquerque residents whose primary language is Vietnamese or Spanish.

This week’s Town Halls will include guests Mayor Tim Keller, First Lady Elizabeth Keller, and Secretary Bill McCamley, New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions to provide updates related to this public health emergency and to answer questions from the community.

Watch and participate on OIRA’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ABQOIRA/ on Thursday, April 23: 

Vietnamese Language Town Hall: 4:00 PM – 5:15 PM

Spanish Language Town Hall: 6:00 PM – 7:15 PM

“This is the time to be the most connected. We cannot afford to forget or neglect communities during this crisis or ever. The City of Albuquerque is doing its best to get vital documents translated in multiple languages but these townhalls will make a huge difference as to who and how communities get access to real time information”, said Mariela Ruiz-Angel, OIRA Coordinator. It is our job at the City to ensure that Limited English Proficiency communities are not disproportionately affected because of their English language skills.

“Immigrant and low-wage workers are currently on the frontlines actively responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. From working in healthcare and cleaning industry, childcare, and in all aspects of the food chain, they are situated in key industries and are more crucial than ever. All Burqueños must all be able to participate in public health efforts and have access to vital information for the well-being of all in our state. In order to address the information gap being experienced by Latino immigrant communities in New Mexico, immigrant-based organizations such as El CENTRO are proud to host and support forums with representatives from local, state, and the federal government being provided in Spanish and other languages that reflect the diversity of our state.” - El CENTRO de Igualdad y Derechos.

“As an organization made up of directly affected young people we are seeing firsthand the impacts that the COVID19 pandemic is having on our communities. So many of our people are on the front lines of this crisis, facing high financial and health risks. Our governments cannot leave them to fend for themselves. It is vital that information and resources be available to our communities in their own language so that they can make the most informed decisions possible for their families during this global pandemic.” - The New Mexico Dream Team

“Este tiempo de crisis es una oportunidad única para apreciar la importancia de cada vida humana, independientemente de su nacionalidad. Es momento de agradecer con acciones concretas el tremendo trabajo de nuestras comunidades migrantes, extenderles la mano en estos momentos en los que necesitan urgentemente nuestro apoyo es la mejor manera de reconocer el enorme valor de sus contribuciones en todos los aspectos de nuestra vida diaria y en el desarrollo de nuestros países.” - Consulado de México en Albuquerque

“It is vital that we provide this information in as many languages as needed and I thank the Office Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) and these organizations for being at the forefront of getting this information out,” said Councilor Sena. “I plan to host these town halls every Thursday and we’re working to provide more languages at future meetings.”